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[Linked Image] [beliefnet.com]

Friday, November 03, 2006

Contemptible arrogance

This, finally, is what continued Republican rule means: sneakily shutting down an independent office that keeps track of waste, fraud and abuse in Iraq [nytimes.com] . You really can't make this stuff up. According to the Times report, House Republican committee staffers quietly and at the last minute inserted into a mammoth military appropriations bill a provision that would defund the Office of Special Inspector General for Iraq Reconstruction.

IG Stuart Bowen is a former White House lawyer who has not been a Bush lapdog, but rather a bulldog. The stuff he and his team have found since Congress created his office in 2004 has been tremendously embarrassing to Bush. They've uncovered billions down the rathole, theft, bribery, dangerous incompetence -- you name it. Remember the brand-new $73 million Iraqi police station, deemed critical to getting Iraq's security forces back on their feet, that will have to be torn down because it's a piece of garbage that leaks sewage onto the heads of people inside? We learned about it because of Stuart Bowen. Did you see stories this week about how the US military can't account for an arsenal of weapons meant for Iraq security forces, but which now could be in the hands of Iraqi militants who could use them to kill and maim American soldiers? We know about this because of Stuart Bowen. Read all about it on his agency\'s website [sigir.mil] .

An embarrassed and angry Sen. John Warner told the Times that he was caught unawares by the House Republican sleight-of-hand, and is working on legislation that would restore Bowen and his team. As well he should. This sleazy, contemptible move by House Republicans to cover up for the outrageous boondoggles this Administration has facilitated is a slap in the face to the American taxpayer. The Republican Congress has not only proven itself incapable of standing up to the White House's Iraq fiasco, but now it appears that they will try to shut down the one guy empowered to report to Congress and the American people on how our money is being spent.

This is how corrupt the House Republicans have become. People should not stand for it, not for one second. I would say to my fellow conservatives: if this were the Clinton Administration and its Democratic allies pulling this crap, how would you feel? Does integrity mean anything? Does self-respect? Or is it all about protecting Republican power at all cost?

Columnist Trudy Rubin talked to one of Bowen\'s deputies [charlotte.com] , Ginger Cruz:
Quote
"We're leaving behind a trail of failure," Cruz says. "The power and oil situation isn't better than when we came." The problem, she says, goes beyond the security issues that have dogged the reconstruction effort.

The biggest lesson is that we should have avoided handing massive projects to big U.S. firms and focused instead on helping Iraqis to get their own systems up and running. "Instead," she says, "a few individuals in the CPA said, `Let's go for the big solutions' and decided to build huge generators which run on natural gas in a country which doesn't have natural gas." And so on.

Instead of consulting Iraqis -- as local U.S. military commanders often did -- the CPA politicos "went for big super-dooper systems. We didn't listen," Cruz says -- not to Iraqis, nor to experts from international organizations.

"Now after three years we are going back to square one," she adds, with the money almost gone. Has anyone in the White House learned any lessons from this reconstruction debacle? Has Donald Rumsfeld?

And will anyone ever be held accountable -- say, on Nov. 7 -- for the mess?
Bring on the committee investigations, I say. These crooks need to be roasted on live television. I have voted Republican all my life, but I never voted for this, and I sure as hell won't this time.

UPDATE: From Paul Krugman's column today (behind NYT firewall), about the reconstruction debacle:

You can see, by the way, why a Democratic takeover of the House, if it happens next week, would be such a pivotal event: suddenly, committee chairmen with subpoena power would be in a position to investigate where all the Iraq money went.

But that�s all in the past. What about the future?

[T]he U.S.-led reconstruction effort in Iraq is basically over. I don�t know whether the administration is afraid to ask U.S. voters for more money, or simply considers the situation hopeless. Either way, the United States has accepted defeat on reconstruction.

Yet Americans are still fighting and dying in Iraq. For what?

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Very interesting....corruption, corruption and more corruption.

I won't be voting for republicans this year either.
what's the point..

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I may vote third party but I will not ever vote for the party of Baby killers.

CDL

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AthanasiusTheLesser
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Originally posted by carson daniel lauffer:
I may vote third party but I will not ever vote for the party of Baby killers.

CDL
CDL:
I know this a hypothetical you may never face, but what would you do in a race where there is no third party, the Republican is "pro-choice," and the Democrat is "pro-life"? Or more realistically, there is no third party, both the Republican and Democrat are "pro-choice," but on other questions, the Democrat takes positions more in line with the teaching of the Church? I know you have contempt for the Democratic Party and I understand and respect your reasons. However, I don't see the Republican Party, which on the whole, isn't really serious about ending abortion (there are no doubt principled individuals who do, but on the whole, they're not serious-if they were, their talk about the issue wouldn't be limited to campaign season), as being one bit better.
Sincerely,
Ryan

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I will vote for the party that is most aligned with the positions of the Church. If need be I'll will write in a vote. In fact, I'm seriously considering such an option in the governers race in Ill.

CDL

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I will vote for the party that is most aligned with the positions of the Church. If need be I'll will write in a vote. In fact, I'm seriously considering such an option in the governers race in Ill.

CDL

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Here is a relevant quote from Bishop Thomas Olstead's article on Catholics and the Public Square:

https://www.byzcath.org/cgibin/ultimatebb.cgi?ubb=get_topic;f=8;t=003807

Quote
Is it mandatory for Catholics to follow what the Pope or bishops say on political issues?

Because they are the leaders of the Church, it is always important to respect statements from the Church's hierarchy. It is the role of the Pope and the bishops to teach clearly on matters of faith and morals, including those touching on political issues.

There are some matters, however, on which Catholics may disagree with the Church's hierarchy. In some cases, for example, a Catholic may agree with the teaching of the Church, but come to a different prudential judgment about its application.

Examples of these issues might include an instance where someone agrees with the Church's teaching on �just war� or �capital punishment,� but reaches a different conclusion as to whether the facts of the situation constitute a �just war� or the �rare� circumstances where capital punishment may be used under Church teaching.

It should be emphasized, however, that despite these examples, there are other issues, such as abortion or euthanasia, that are always wrong and do not allow for the correct use of prudential judgment to justify them. It would never be proper for Catholics to be on the opposite side of these issues.

Are all political and social issues equal when it comes to choosing a political candidate?

Absolutely not! The Catholic Church is actively engaged in a wide variety of important public policy issues including immigration, education, affordable housing, health and welfare, to name just a few. On each of these issues we should do our best to be informed and to support those proposed solutions that seem most likely to be effective. However, when it comes to direct attacks on innocent human life, being right on all the other issues can never justify a wrong choice on this most serious matter.

As Pope John Paul II has written, " Above all, the common outcry, which is justly made on behalf of human rights - for example, the right to health, to home, to work, to family, to culture - is false and illusory if the right to life, the most basic and fundamental right and the condition for all other personal rights, is not defended with the maximum determination ." (Christifideles Laici , 38)

Are there any �non-negotiable� issues for Catholics involved in politics?

There are several issues that are �not negotiable� for Catholics in political life, because they involve matters that are intrinsically evil. In an address to European politicians on March 30, 2006, Pope Benedict XVI stated: � As far as the Catholic Church is concerned, the principal focus of her interventions in the public arena is the protection and promotion of the dignity of the person, and she is thereby consciously drawing particular attention to principles which are not negotiable. Among these the following emerge clearly today:

� Protection of life in all its stages, from the first moment of conception until natural death;

� Recognition and promotion of the natural structure of the family � as a union between a man and a woman based on marriage � and its defense from attempts to make it juridically equivalent to radically different forms of union which in reality harm it and contribute to its destabilization, obscuring its particular character and its irreplaceable social role;

� The protection of the rights of parents to educate their children.�

The issues mentioned by Pope Benedict are all �non-negotiable� and are some of the most contemporary issues in the political arena. I should note, however, that other issues, while not intrinsically evil, deserve prayerful consideration, such as questions of war and capital punishment, poverty issues and matters relating to illegal immigration.
Gordo

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As long as the Dems are on the wrong side of these issues they will not get my vote and should not get one Catholic vote.

CDL

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Cynicism is something we all fight. I wish we had a monarchy that could make decisions for us and we wouldn't have to wrangle over meatless bones. But we don't and there is nothing we can do for the present about that. Given our political arena I can understand, even though I disagree, why the Tim LeHayes of the world are so popular. He tells us with comforting words that though we have trouble Jesus will someday overcome the world. Seems hopeful until one reads St. John's Gospel Chapter 16 verse 33 "These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.� The verb is not future tense but past tense. Catholics and Orthodox know this. Our struggle continues not simply because someday Jesus will do something. Our struggle continues because we are fighting directly alongside Jesus Christ Himself. He is the Monarch of monarchs and He has left us an earthly expresssion of His monarchy.

I wish Western Europe and America had a Catholic monarchy. Sadly, only the Catholics have one. Given that realization we vote as our monarch requests of us, not as slaves, but as free men who love the monarch and his Monarch. We are here to impose the Catholic faith upon the world, not by force of arms but by the voting booth. If a candidate or a party chooses to kill babies and destroy families we cannot in good conscience vote for them. We must find a way to express our displeasure and our Lord's judgement against the cover ups that Dreher has pointed out, if they aren't just imaginary, but we cannot vote for someone who is an enemy of the Kingdom of God.

CDL

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It appears from the NYT article that the termination of this office is not immediate but is a preparation for the end of our involvement in Iraq. In other words, Dreher seems to be hyperventalating over a routine move. From the Times article:

"The idea, Mr. Holly said, was simply to return to a non-wartime footing in which inspectors general in the State Department, the Pentagon and elsewhere would investigate American programs overseas. The definite termination date was also seen as helpful for planning future oversight efforts from Bush administration agencies, he said."

But then...who knows? I still won't vote for baby killers.

CDL

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Orthodox domilsean
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Gordo et al.,

often we get candidates that are "pro-life" re: abortion but pro-capital punishment, a typical Republican stance. But then Dems are often "pro-choice" but anti-capital punishment.

Sadly, we rarely ever get any true pro-life candidates, and many Christians focus on abortion but seek to justify capital punishment and war.

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"One is formally complicit in the injustice of abortion when one votes for a candidate even partially on the basis of his or her pro-abortion positions. The same is true when a legislator votes for legislation even partially for the purpose of making abortion available.


You are not complicit if you do not vote on the basis of the politician being against his/her abortion law inaction/support, but on the basis of economics or any other position while still being against the policy of abortion/contraception laxity

I was satisfied with the results of the election. A new era has begun, let us hope wisdom and inspiration comes out of it.

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I don't know what to make of the outcome of the vote. Probably too early to tell. However, what would make me happy is to know the accuracy of Dreher's article. His conclusions don't seem to square with the facts of the matter. Does anyone have any insight on this or was it placed here just to show how angry and or misinformed Dreher is or how easily mislead by strong emotions many people can be?

CDL

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I have an idea.

Now that the caring, loving, do-for-the-poor, peace loving Democrats control Congress, let's have a new law.

Let's make the Republican Party disband.

Those rotten warmongers! Those love-the-rich tax-cutters! Those School Of The Americas operators! Rush Limbaugh!
Those pro-military hawks! Off with their heads!

We NEED a socialist statist state with government allocating the wealth! Seize the property of the rich and give it to the poor! Forbid private ownership of property! Disband the military and establish a Department of Peace! Be nice to and talk with the Iranian Government and bin Laden!

After all, those EEEVILLL Republicans are the Root of All EVIL!

Monarchies? No, thanks. Monarchies created plenty of wars in Europe for centuries.

All we need to do is disband the GOP and give control to the Democrats. Then, certain members of this board might be happy.

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Originally posted by Mr. Clean:
I have an idea.

Now that the caring, loving, do-for-the-poor, peace loving Democrats control Congress, let's have a new law.

We NEED a socialist statist state with government allocating the wealth! Seize the property of the rich and give it to the poor! Forbid private ownership of property! Disband the military and establish a Department of Peace! Be nice to and talk with the Iranian Government and bin Laden!

All we need to do is disband the GOP and give control to the Democrats. Then, certain members of this board might be happy.
Mr. Clean:

Is there something wrong with doing for the poor and loving peace? I believe that both of those things are part of the teachings of Christ. As for your rant about socialism and forbidding private ownership of property, I know of only one member of either the Senate or House of Representatives who is a socialist, and that is Bernie Sanders, the senator-elect from Vermont. The American people overwhelmingly reject socialism and will not tolerate it. While Democrats and Republicans certainly disagree about the extent to which government should regulate the economy, neither party is socialist and I think for you to accuse the Democrats of being socialist is irresponsible at best and slanderous at worst. BTW, the Catholic Church's teachings on economic matters mandates no particular form of economy-however, it certainly does reject a laissez faire approach to capitalist economies.
Sincerely,
Ryan

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